Searching For Amar'e Stoudemire Replacements In The World Of Cinema

With Amar'e Stoudemire on his way out the door, it's time to search for replacements. Since I don't have the energy to evaluate real candidates, I've decided to take my search to the world of movies.

While attempting to think of an idea for my weekly column I went back and forth between firing off something bound to depress you or a piece that would make me laugh. Due to the combination of my last offering likely making you reconsider your Arizona sports fanhood and the fact that we all had a pretty rough week here, I've decided to go light and breezy.

This means that in lieu of getting a look at how the Suns never once took the same team to the playoffs in six seasons with Steve Nash, I'm gonna bring the funny relatively amusing.

As everyone knows, the Suns and Amar'e Stoudemire basically broke up last week. Sure, the breakup doesn't become official until later this week, but barring some sad last minute change of heart -- you know like Amar'e realizing he's doomed to win 35 games a year with Toney Douglas and Chris Duhon getting him the rock -- it's over. 

Since the party is over and we're going to spend the next year attempting to scratch out wins while watching Hakim Warrick be "long", "athletic" and "disappointing", I've shifted my attentions towards possible Amar'e replacements. 

With the Channing Frye and Warrick signings, the Suns are probably done for 2010, so I turned to the 2011 free agent class. Unfortunately, I didn't really like what I saw, so in the spirit of the fact that I spent the weekend drinking heavily while Air Bud was on TV, I've expanded my search to the world of movies. 

There have been a number of talented hoopsters in the history of cinema and since I'm the type of fella who just likes to help the squad, I've identified some of the talent who I believe could most appropriately replace Amar'e at the power forward position or otherwise. 

The candidates:

Chubby (Teen Wolf):

Strengths

  • A big body capable of setting hard screens. If you thought the Nash/Amare pick-and-roll was dominant... imagine what Nash/Chubby could do! Did someone say All-Star duo? No? Oh, OK.  
  • Oddly reliable hook shot despite the shooting form of a person who has not previously picked up a basketball. 
  • As he spent his high school years playing with a selfish teenager/wolf hybrid, it's become apparent that Chubby doesn't need the ball to make an impact on the game. He is willing to do the dirty work necessary to win ball games.

Weaknesses: 

  • Woefully out of shape, to the point that he would likely struggle in the Suns' up-tempo offense.
  • Destructive eating habits. Chubby is known to carry liverwurst sandwiches in his tight shorts during games and his locker is filled with various sugary snacks and obscure meats. Chubby is a likely candidate for heart disease or adult on-set diabetes. 
  • Wildly indecisive about when to attempt the previously mentioned hook shot. More often than not, it requires a player on the opposing team to bait him with an insult about his weight before he attempts his patented shot.

NBA Comparison:   John "Hot Plate" Williams

Buddy (Air Bud):

Strengths:  

  • Coachable and follows instruction in a very obedient manner.
  • High energy player that does not tire easily. Off the charts athleticism with the footwork to stick with the quickest of guards.  
  • Would be good for team chemistry. Jared Dudley lost his best friend when Amar'e left town, and dogs are known to be man's best friend. Thus bing bang boom... Dudley has his new best friend in Air Bud.
  • Excellent jump shooter when you pass directly to his snout. 

Weaknesses

  • Not human, thus apt to aging at an advanced rate. Buddy's most athletic years could be behind him during the middle of a six-year deal. 
  • Likely a poor ball handler and passer due to lack of opposable thumbs.
  • Due to his height, he would struggle to defend power forwards in the post. Almost any NBA-caliber player would be able to get his shot off over his tiny dog head.
  • Cannot create his own shot -- though this may not be a major issue with Nash setting him up.

NBA ComparisonLouis Amundson with a better jump shot. 

Antoine Tyler (The 6th Man):

Strengths:  

  • An elite scorer with a mean streak, Tyler was a college All-American prior to his tragic death by way of a heart attack. 
  • Can help a team move on from a potentially season-ending traumatic experience to become NCAA champions.You'd have to assume this skill could translate to the NBA level. 
  • He's a ghost, so having him on the squad would permit the Suns to play with six guys. Being a ghost has also afforded him the ability to appear wherever he chooses. Thus, since he could just sit on the rim, he could prove to be an elite rim-protecting shot blocker.

Weaknesses:

  • Would be playing out of position at power forward (not that it would matter since again, the Suns could be playing six guys).
  • Strong likelihood that he will continue on to the next step in the afterlife following his accomplishment of some sort of good deed. This would leave the Suns in the same spot as they were before he arrived. This could possibly be avoided if the Suns' organization fails to put him in any position where he can achieve redemption. 
  • Susceptible to "busting" when team visits New York.

NBA Comparison:   Latrell Sprewell... if he were dead (and not just his career).

Hakim Warrick:  Wait, how did that get in here? 

Ernest P. Worrell (Slam Dunk Ernest):

Strengths:  

  • Due to an awesome pair of magic shoes, Worrell is a high-flying dunker with almost infinite hang time.
  • Close personal advisor named The Archangel of Basketball looks suspiciously like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Always good to have such a talented adviser. 
  • Previous experience saving Christmas will endear him to Valley children.

Weaknesses:

  • Overly reliant on magic shoes. Should Worrell some how misplace the shoes, the majority of his skill would disappear. 
  • Since Worrell is well into his 60s, it's irresponsible to give him a long-term contract offer. Though we can't be 100 percent sure, it's unlikely that magic shoes slow the aging process.  
  • Bad habit of launching into long unwieldy stories about a friend (Verne) who may or may not actually exist. This could possibly alienate teammates or call into question his sanity.
  • Status as ex-felon will put Worrell on thin ice with the community.

NBA ComparisonDominique Wilkins, if instead of using natural basketball ability he owed his talent to magic shoes. 

Lurch (Celtic Pride): 

Strengths:

  • Unlike the rest of the players on this list, Lurch has championship experience. He helped Lewis Scott lead the Utah Jazz to their first NBA championship.
  • Confident in his abilities. Known to inform Jazz coaches that he had "the bad crap." I'm not sure what that is, but it appears promising.
  • Tallest guy on the list.
  • Since he apparently has just the one name and is from a foreign country, he'll probably be a marketing sensation. Think Pele or Madonna.

Weaknesses:

  • Oftentimes surprised at receiving passes to the point where he has taken numerous balls off the side of his head.
  • Doesn't appear to be all that talented at the game of basketball.
  • His struggles with the English language could lead to miscommunication with teammates and coaches. Although the results could make for comedy gold, it is unlikely it would be particularly helpful in winning NBA basketball games.

NBA ComparisonJake Tsakalidis. Come on, don't you want to relive the Big Jake era? 

What a fantastic list of options.  So who do you think fits the best?  No matter what you think, just smile, laugh, and enjoy yourself. Or just go to this thread and take pot shot at Cory Williams for his horrible insensitivity towards the plight of the D-Backs bullpen. Choose your own adventure.

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